I’ve heard others gripe that this book is basically fluff. Well, yes, it’s light, but that’s part of what I liked about it. I’ve read a lot of serious (and sometimes depressing) books lately, and this one was a much-needed cool breeze of just plain fun.
The Marchioness of Roxbury, a vain and vapid woman, is on her deathbed, having failed to fulfill a promise made to the Fair Folk. She lives in an alternate England where magic exists, though it’s subtle. The only way she can keep her word is by switching places with Sarah Cunningham, her double from our world, an independent woman who was raised in the wilderness and knows her way around a musket. Sarah’s memories are jumbled by magic, and now she has to figure out who she is.
She and her new husband, Wessex, get caught up in a deadly game of espionage, kidnapping, and murder. When Sarah becomes friends with the Crown Prince’s new sweetheart, the game gets even deeper. Danger, betrayal, and unexpected allies are around every corner. While the love story between Sarah and Wessex is never developed really well, the adventure is fun and movie-like, and the end leaves me wanting more. Gotta go read the sequel now.
Carolus Rex — (1999-2001) Andre Norton and Rosemary Edghill. Publisher: Young Sarah Cunningham is ripped from the present day and thrust into a volatile alternative Europe of 1805 where King Henry IX rules over the English Empire, America has no revolution, and Napoleon Bonaparte marches unchecked across Europe.